Monday, July 30, 2012

Aren’t you a little short for a stormtrooper?

When I was in the Peace Corps, trainers would regularly bring up the "Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, but teach him to fish..."

This popped into my mind at 3:30 am, when my little dollop of delight was up for the SEVEN MILLIONTH time. And every time she wakes up, no matter the reason, she needs boob, stat.

So as I lay there, listening to her start to squawk, willing her with all my might to settle herself, I was thinking: Give a baby a roll and she'll eat for a day, but teach her to roll and you will NEVER GET ANY SLEEP AGAIN.

You see, our India has learned how to roll over onto her stomach. But she cannot get back.

I didn't actually teach her. I just encouraged her.

And now I am all, why for the love of Peter, Paul and Mary - and maybe Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young, and even the Eagles and America (both of whom Nick hates. Seriously. How can you hate the Eagles? America? Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man, that he didn't, didn't already have! But I digress.) - why oh why did I encourage her?

Really, why was I enticing her with toys, cheering her on, all "Yes, sweetie! You can do it!" Why???

Instead, I should've been busy sewing giant pieces of Velcro to the back of her pajamas and onto her sheets.

She can roll both to the right and to the left. She really has to work at it, but she can do it.

You see her turn her head and fix on something to her side. She gears up all, "I want to go to there!" And she throws her arms and legs up and flings them sideways and then she grunts and struggles and wiggles and squiggles and finally, finally flips herself over.


Friday, July 27, 2012

India: month three

Dear India,

Last week you turned three months old. I meant to write this then, but life got in the way.

This no-take-a-bottle crisis has been dominating our lives but I have just read a few things that make me wonder if it's the milk and not the bottle, and I'm going to experiment - but that's a whole nother post in itself.

In the past month you've gotten very chatty and smiley and giggly.  It's truly delightful, and I have to say, you're quite good company. You also have strong opinions and when you are not happy, you are NOT HAPPY and the world knows it.

You've found your hands and your feet, and you seem determined to fit your entire fist in your mouth. Being stubborn as the rest of us, I'm quite sure one of these days you'll succeed.

We went to Clemyjontri park last weekend. It's an incredible playground, and I really wish we had something like it near our hours. It is crazy popular, and we had to park in satellite parking. Seriously - satellite parking for a playground.

Your brother was fixated on this car, and really wanted a passenger. You were the only one small enough to fit. Here you are, resignedly humoring him. I'm pretty sure I make the same "Oh, for the love of Pete" face when I'm on your dad's sail boat.
Your Aunt Maude came to visit, which was a joy. We introduced her to the magical chaos of Reef kiddy happy hour. Here she is holding you. She's glowingly pregnant, due in October. You're destined to be friends with her child.
Towards the end of our evening, this cluster of children surrounded you. Turns out babies are fascinating for little kids. Who knew? You were kind of what the hell about it, but handled the attention well.

Your brother was so proud - you're HIS baby sister!
All in all, it's been another good month, my little friend. I'm going to be sad when my maternity vacation (HAHAHAHAHA! Oh, I make myself laugh!) ends next month.

Love love,


Friday, July 20, 2012

A modern nursery rhyme. With apologies to: went to market, stayed home, had roast beef, etc.

This little (shiny, happy) mamapiggie went to the office for a meeting:

This little nanapiggie stayed home to take care of little piggie:

This little piggie refused to take a bottle and screamed bloody murder for four hours until mamapiggie rushed home in a cab:

Seriously. The kid has decided she is not taking a bottle. We have four different kinds. Nary a one will do.

And now mamapiggie is crying wee wee wee should have done more bottle feeding along the way and now we're fucked when daycare starts.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Extripeaganza! A Friday poll.

So, you know when I get started on something, I like to run with it. Perhaps beyond the point that other people might. I'm only sorry we don't have pink striped socks.

I caught myself thinking that if I had this outfit, I would totally wear it. I love pink! And orange! And stripes.

Although I never did wear my flowery Liberty outfit in its entirety. Because the bag just seemed to push it over top. But this is different. I think?

An outfit like this on an adult would say:

A. I'm confident and I have a sense of humor.
B. I got dressed in the dark.
C. I'm batshit crazy and trying to make you dizzy.
D. Can I buy you a drink?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The suicide ebb tide

You know when you're walking on the beach and the tide is going out, and each time a wave pulls out the next one comes back just a little bit further out than the one that preceded it?

I think grief is like this. In the beginning, it threatens to consume you whole. You are flayed by it and flailing, you are drowning in it. Your eyes and throat are raw from wailing; your skin is so thin and tender it barely contains your corporal being. You think you might just curl up and die from the pain.

But you don't. And eventually, you begin to heal. The hurt doesn't exactly disappear, but you gain distance. And the memories that wash over you from time to time aren't always painful.

I'm not going to compare one grief to another, but I will say that suicide leaves human wreckage in its wake like a hurricane, a tsunami.  Its reach is far and wide and devastating.

And I've come to believe that grief retreats like the tide. It's always there for you to immerse yourself in, but with enough time and help, you don't have to. You can gain some distance, enjoy the relief of the ebb, and stroll on the memory beach with a mix of happiness and sadness.

The susurration of the ocean pulling away is rhythmic and soothing, and you walk along, feeling the water lapping your feet, the sand shifting and sliding gently away beneath your soles.

And then a bigger wave will come along that pushes farther up than you expect.

These sudden waves, they scare me. I don't know why, when I'm at most ankle deep and my feet are already wet. They're low; it's not like they can pull me out with them.

But still, I startle. I get that scared fluttery stomach feeling. Every time.

And here is what I learned the other day: that my father made his suicide hotel reservations in advance.

In advance.

I had always assumed that he hit a particularly desperate moment and decided he just couldn't take it anymore. He always had medications on hand. And rope is a common household item. Those didn't take any planning.

Desperation, I can understand.  But this planning in advance, it seems like so much more of a betrayal.

Is that ridiculous? How can it matter at this point? My dad is dead, and he managed to commit suicide, and in the end it doesn't actually matter if he decided five minutes before or planned it way ahead of time.

But facts like this, they catch me like the surprise wave.

These waves of abandonment, of betrayal, they crash into me - though not so hard as they used to - and they shift the ground beneath me. I'm now strong enough to not lose my footing, to not just sit down and sob.

But goddammit. Fucking suicide.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Two countries, 12 weeks. Alike or not?

So, somewhere in my pregnancy, when we were discussing naming India India, I realized that if we did so, we would inadvertently have given both children names of countries.

I wasn't so hung up on this as I was on the fret that people would think the name India was just too weird. Which was why she didn't have a name for the first 24 hours. It would've been more normal to go with Lillian as her first name, but I didn't want to wind up with her being called Lily, much as I like the (now very popular) name.

Very few people have pointed the country thing out, though, for which I am glad, because it's not like we were trying to cover the globe with our progeny.

It's a name that elicits reactions. People make it clear that they like the name or think it's bizarre.

"India! What a pretty name!"

"India? Huh. That's different."

One of our neighbors remembered her name as Asia. I put him in the camp of geographically in the correct area and not-so-much on the India name.

This is fine with me. I wanted an unusual name for her, and I think it's pretty. I've said before that the only thing I particularly like about Lisa is that everywhere I've traveled, people have been able to pronounce it.

Anyway, this wasn't going to be about the names. Rather, I was heading for a comparison of my two kids at approximately 12 weeks of age.

I've got Indi in a lot of pinkaliciousness, but in this picture here, she's wearing a shirt of Jordan's that I saved because I love it so.

The top two are my Indi girl, and the bottom two are my Jordan.

Alike or not?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Just to be clear: I'm not suggesting we have our own personal Jesus or anything

A number of people have commented on how much India looks like her brother. I don't know if she does or doesn't. Some people think she looks like me. I don't see it, although I'd like to.

And so I started looking through photos to find some of Jordan at her age to compare.

I feel like we spend so much time rushing forward, recording moments but not sitting down to savor them later. Personally, I haven't looked through photos in a long time. So I was going backwards from the present, reminiscing, and I came across this picture from Nick's and my second anniversary of our meeting at the Tabard.

I was thinking how cute Nick looked...and how it's really not Jordan's best picture.

And then I thought, "You know, his face reminds me of someone..." Someone I know? I thought and thought about it.

And then, then I remembered - it was one of the statues in Cluny from our Paris trip!

Pretty sure this unfortunate little fella is Jesus.

Is this life imitating art?